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Should You Invest in Premium Tires for Your Car?

Not sure if it's worth the cost? Our car coach weighs in.

Are premium tires really worth the cost? - Rob G., Chicago, Il

The short answer: Yes. You should never scrimp on tires—they can be the difference between a safe drive and a serious accident. If you jump at tires selling at half the price of better-known brands, there’s a good chance: a) they won’t measure up in areas like wet traction, snow and ice performance, braking, and tread life; and b) even if they fit your wheels, they may not be designed for your car’s make and model.

The reality is, major international brands like Michelin, Pirelli, and Goodyear set and enforce the quality standards to which their tires are built—regardless of country of manufacture. That’s simply not true of off-brands like Geostar and Sunny, both Chinese tire brands whose quality, over-the-road performance, and longevity don’t meet my expectations.

My advice? When in doubt, think about your passengers. Now which tires sound like the best choice?

John Dinkel is an auto engineer, lifelong racer, and a columnist for Men's Fitness. Follow him on Twitter.

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